Sam Nunn Security Program Fellows Brief Special Operations Command Senior Leadership

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By Michael Pearson

Ten doctoral-level researchers chosen to spend the past academic year as Sam Nunn Security Program Fellows recently briefed senior leaders of the U.S. Special Operations Command on the military threats posed by “innovative ideas, low-cost weapons, and dual-use technologies,” according to Margaret Kosal, program director and associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Topics raised by the fellows in the May 2 briefing at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida ranged from the potential impact on political stability of video manipulation and fraudulent simulation technology, limitations of the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system, advances in neurotechnology, agroterrorism, global health security, alternative uses of technology intended for humanitarian efforts, and climate change.

Researchers from Across Campus

The researchers were drawn from the schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering, History & Sociology, Chemistry, Aerospace Engineering, Economics, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Biology, and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.

During their tenure as fellows, the team consulted with mentors from the Special Operations Command’s Joint Special Operations University, Nunn School Distinguished Professors Gen. Phil Breedlove, USAF (RET) and Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, USN (RET), and others.

In addition to the in-person briefing, the team submitted a final report to the Special Operations Command. A monograph for publication is under review at Cambridge University Press.

Fellows Contribute to Book

In related news, Springer Publishing recently released a book authored entirely by a previous group of Sam Nunn Security Fellows.

The authors participated in the 2015-2016 cohort and came to the Nunn School, the School of Public Policy, the School of Economics, the College of Engineering, and the College of Sciences. The book also includes contributions from two research faculty at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

The volume, “Technology and the Intelligence Community: Challenges and Advances for the 21st Century,” is part of Springer’s Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series.


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